A violent sex offender and long-time scofflaw, who did not notify Cocke County authorities when he returned after serving time in a Florida prison, has been sentenced to the 21-plus months he remained in federal custody before his case was adjudicated, according to court documents.
Thomas B. Resh, 55, had no chance to beat the allegation he failed to register as a sex offender. He was at home in late March 2018 when law enforcement officials arrived at his Green Corner Road home in the Hartford community, and his name did not appear on the list of Cocke County sex offenders.
Resh will be under federal court supervision until he’s 70, and will have to register as a violent sex offender for the rest of his life. Resh must notify his probation officer if he relocates from his current residence, a Newport motel. He can’t legally have any guests at his residence unless approved in advance by his probation officer, according to a judgment sheet.
Resh was 23 years old in 1987 when he was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after being convicted of raping and otherwise sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Tennessee, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan L. Gomez.
After he was released, Resh moved to Florida where he registered as a convicted sex offender. He was subsequently convicted of a traffic offense in which someone lost their life, according to the federal prosecutor.
When he was released in 2016, he moved to Cocke County without notifying Florida officials he was leaving or Tennessee officials that he had arrived, according to a criminal complaint.
“(Resh) was adamant with law enforcement that he should not have to register as a sex offender,” Gomez wrote in the prosecution sentencing memorandum. “In spite of this opinion, he was aware of his duties as a sex offender and he made the choice to disregard those requirements.”
Resh entered the criminal-justice system nearly 35 years ago when he was convicted of trespassing. He was convicted of breaking and unlawful possession, and had 33 disciplinary actions while incarcerated for child rape, according to Gomez.